"Hustle culture" is making you less productive.

Hustle culture is dead. Constant work, no sleep, never shutting off? The idea that a continuous state of work means you will get more work done is based on the mythical principals of the Industrial Revolution. More production = more product, right? Wrong. At best, it’s misguided and at worst, damaging.

During the busy times of an agency, the pressure to never stop working can be overwhelming but, oddly enough, taking a break can be the best thing you do for that workload.

The best way to get more work done is to take time not working.

Now, unclench your jaw, drop your shoulders, and take a big, deep breath in. 

Go for a walk.


At AntiSocial, we’re lucky enough to work in a dog-friendly space with furry coworkers who remind us that a loop around the block isn’t such a bad idea. Plus, exercise is proven to combat stress. And, interestingly enough, walking can actually help you work through problems you’re stuck on.

Breathe in, breathe out.


Even when you can’t take ten minutes to step outside, take 30 seconds and do some deep breathing exercises. By breathing slowly and deeply, you’re sending a signal to your central nervous system that it’s all good, helping to calm your mind.

The 4-7-8 Technique:  Close your eyes and exhale completely. Take a deep breath in through your nose, counting mentally to 4. Hold your breath for a count of 7. Then, exhale through your mouth, counting to 8. Repeat.

The 4-7-8 technique is used to mentally calm yourself. If you can’t hold your breath that long, don’t worry. The ratio is more important than the actual length of seconds. Try 2-3.5-4 instead.

The coffee shakes.


Unpopular but true: caffeine can increase your anxiety levels. Agency life can lend itself to late hours and skipped meals and we know (oh, we know) there’s a time and place for Redbull and espresso shots. We’re not saying switch to decaf, just be mindful of how much caffeine you’re consuming.

Sleep.


A 2011 Harvard study reported that insomnia costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. It’s not because they’re missing work but because they’re not as effective at work due to being tired.

Pro tip: Don’t look at your phone before bed. The blue light emitted by your smartphone suppresses the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in your brain.

Turn off your email notifications during after-work hours.


You’re doing yourself and your company a disservice by being ‘on’ all the time. Turn your e-mail and Slack notifications off and unplug from work when you’re off the clock. A better work-life balance means you’re a happier, more productive employee when you’re at work. So, time off actually benefits corporations more than constant work.

Vacations, too are proven to be productivity boosters.